California already has a small percentage of single-family homes that have facilities to tap solar power and the state wants to make it a compulsory feature in all houses from 2020. It will then become the first state in America to acquire that unique distinction.

The Independent UK reports that the new policy of the state’s Energy Commission is to ensure that all new homes must have solar panels from 2020. It will apply to homes that are over three stories tall. This is a part of a major initiative to tap solar energy and ensure that enough of this alternative energy is available to offset all electricity and gas the residents use.

Critics will be there

The state of California is already a trendsetter in tapping solar power. Large areas have resorted to this renewable energy and on days of bright sunshine, the amount of power it generates makes the cost of electricity go negative.

According to an official of a real estate development company, the new energy standard for compulsory solar panels will add to the basic cost of the home. Over a period of time, there will be savings through reduced operating costs. However, in the opinion of a home builder and design consultant, the price could become prohibitive for some.

Environmental groups have welcomed the move. They see it as a step towards building a society of environment-friendly, healthy and affordable homes.

Fossil fuels are required to generate electricity, and burning of these fuels add to global warming. This, in turn, brings with it a whole range of problems related to the erratic behavior of the climate. Moreover, fossil fuels will not last forever and a time will come when humankind will have to go in for alternatives like solar power.

The pros and cons

California enjoys plenty of sunshine and, therefore, solar power is an attractive option for its people and the state can take the credit of going green. That may not be true for other regions in the country that are not that lucky.

According to Engadget, solar power is gradually making its presence felt and the decision by California will provide a boost to the sector.

Solar panels on the roof of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings will become a mandatory fit from 2020 onward. Exceptions will be there for homes where the panels cannot be installed or homes that are blocked by taller buildings or trees.

On the flip side, the decision will give a boost to those who are involved in the business of making the solar panels and installing them. In the bargain, the basic cost could also come down and make it more affordable.